A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Civil Liberties Humour

When I first settled in the UK I was really surprised how many take-away pizza establishments used customer databases. Everytime I rang they automatically knew my address and purchase history based on the phone I was ringing from.

At first I actually thought it was quite a cutting edge use of customer management software until I saw what the American Civil Liberties Union has predicted for our universal database future in this very amusing presentation.
I notice that if you click on their "Take Action" link you can sign up for their email newsletter. In order to do this you have to enter your full street address as well as your email address, and by default their site remembers your details unless you opt out.
They're not exactly settin a good example for others to follow!!
Well, they need your street address for the note to your congressman to be legitimate (if you sign any petition, your address is used as a way of validating the number of signatories) and their privacy policy does say that they use cookies (which only they can read).
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